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Gubecka scores 5km silver at World Championships in Doha

Chelsea Gubecka has finished second in the women’s 5km at the World Aquatics World Swimming Championships at Old Doha Port.

To use local parlance, Chelsea Gubecka was in “yarak” as she doubled down on her silver collection with a second placing in the women’s 5km at the World Aquatics World Swimming Championships at Old Doha Port.

Yarak is a term used to describe the good racing condition of a falcon, and Gubecka – Australia’s first athlete selected for the Paris Olympics – proved just that to share the lead over the three lap-course.

It took a monumental effort from 10km winner and Dutch veteran Sharon van Rouwendaal, who came from a body length down with 150m remaining, to catch Gubecka on the outside clocking 57:33.9 with Gubecka touching in 57:35.0. 

Brazil’s Ana Marcela Cunha was third (57:36.8) while Gubecka’s Dolphin teammate Bianca Crisp positioned herself well to finish in a respectable 59:06.00.

Having already qualified for Paris on the back of her silver medal at the World Championships in July, Gubecka, 25, was rested from her signature 10km event to compete in ocean swimming’s “sprint”.

The long game for Gubecka and coach Kate Sparkes is August 8 in the River Seine but Gubecka was delighted with today’s result.

“It was harder than I thought to sit and watch the 10km earlier this week so it really great to get out there,” she said.

“There are things to think about and some takeaways … I didn’t really know my form coming in so just wanted to test and see how we were progressing.

“And today’s result cements that what we are doing at home is right, so I’m really happy to walk away with a silver … Sharon (van Rouwendaal) is such a class act … and there’s one race to go for us.”

The open water program finishes with the mixed 4×1.5km mixed relay on Thursday and Gubecka is likely to contest the event alongside Moesha Johnson, Kyle Lee and Nicholas Sloman.

In the men’s 5km, newly-minted Dolphin Robert Thorpe (51:59.1) stayed in touch with the lead pack to finish a creditable 16th in his first Worlds’ outing with Bailey Armstrong (53:23.5) snatching 23rd as part of the second pack.

  • Written by Ocean Swims on 8 February 2024
  • (Updated on 8 February 2024)

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